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Choosing an all-girls’ education is a decision that has life-long consequences, and while it may seem like a difficult decision for many parents, the benefits of an all-girls’ school far outweigh the concerns.

Perhaps the main concern for parents about single-sex education is that it may deny their children the opportunity to normalise friendships with the opposite sex. However, the benefits to a child’s education, confidence, and leadership potential is so much greater at a single sex school, concerns about gender diversity pale in comparison. 

Tailored to bring out their best

In an all-girls’ learning environment, girls take centre stage. That might seem to be stating the obvious, but it is generally understood that girls learn very differently to boys. “They are more naturally inclined to collaborate, they want to work together,” explains Mary Bourke, Head of Junior School at Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School.  In an-all girls’ classroom environment, “you can set up the environment to tailor to girls”, she adds. This means that every teacher, every class and every program is specifically designed to bring out the best in each girl. 

Inspiring learning

While mixed classrooms can be often be disruptive, single sex classrooms offer a calm, quiet learning environment. This supports and inspires learning, and encourages girls to put up their hand, ask questions and contribute to class discussions. This leads to greater confidence, higher self-esteem and results in greater academic achievements. 

STEM success 

This is particularly the case in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) classes. According to research, girls in single-sex schools in Victoria are more likely to study STEM subjects than girls in co-ed schools. In general, girls have a more positive attitude towards Science and Mathematics in single-sex schools and are encouraged to pursue their passion for these subjects as genuine career opportunities. At Ivanhoe Girls’, for example, over the past five years, more than 50% of graduating VCE students chose a STEM-based tertiary course.

Taking risks

In a safe, nurturing environment of a single-sex school, girls are encouraged to participate in all areas of school life, and are also given the freedom to fail, to learn from mistakes, and to take risks. This is not only apparent in the classroom, but in a broad range of co-curricular activities, from sport to debating, performing arts to social service. Girls are encouraged to discover what drives them, what they are passionate about, which helps them to make their mark on the world. 

Leadership goals

It also helps that in an all-girls’ learning environment, every leadership position is held by girls, and there are positive female role models at every level. As a result, students are encouraged to participate, to speak up, and develop higher aspirations and stronger leadership skills. Coupled with an understanding of their own strengths and abilities, a determination to follow their dream regardless of gender stereotypes and a fearless sense of self, girls are empowered to challenge themselves and become bold leaders and fearless advocates for themselves and their communities.

It’s the type of leadership we need in the 21st Century.

Book a School Tour to find out more about Ivanhoe Girls'.